Being A Better Writer & Why I Owe Polly Vernon

All day I had been rolling backwards and forwards in my head on a quandary, a grey topic had suddenly reached a moment of clarity and I was tossing around which direction to head about it. On the way to a showcase I saw tweets from Polly Vernon about courage and tweeted how apt it was as I was considering pressing a potential detonator on all I have built and sweated on for the last three and a half years. Can I pursue a topic that could make or break me, her response was perfect.

“it IS your only hope of being a writer. Writers have to say the things they’re scared to say.”

There it was plain and simple, I knew what I had to do, I had to be bold and brave enough to be the writer I want to be. It is the second time I’ve owed her for helping me in my aims. Three years ago, I had almost no followers or readers and she showed me encouragement, even doing a short Q&A with me over email, it spurred me on to pursue the site.

So there it is, I know I have to play the cards, take the risks, push the boundaries of my fears. That as well as being a potential weakness it is also the source of my power, it is the making of my voice. I can’t sit on the side lines holding back, if I am to be the writer I want to be I must dive in no matter how scared I find myself.

I have resolved to focus on that, to talk about the things I have passion for. I have done it in the past, taking about losing my best friend to AIDs, the pain it brought, learning to live with a mental illness, standing up and being counted when I believe in something.

I didn’t start this journey for fame, riches or slaps on the back, and if they are not to be the trophies of my success then what have I got to lose. I CAN call bullshit, I CAN say no, I CAN say doing nothing isn’t an option. I will take risks, I will be the one who ignores those DM’s saying, you mustn’t say these things about fashion and the industry, you can’t call out the owners, their faulty moral compass or damaging business models. PR’s/Marketers won’t want to work with you if you criticise.

My credibility and my voice are entwined in a way that can never be unwound, like a double helix in the structure of DNA, they exist as separate but as one. So thank you Polly, at that moment I needed clarity,  without realising it, you gave it to me. This is why without being a gushing fan boy (though I am) you are one of the people in this industry I admire most, because you are these things I want to be.

And Anyway, as Taylor Swift* said and my new philosophy will dictate . . .

“its gonna be forever, or its gonna go down in flames”

*incidentally Polly, if you are looking to make it a hat trick of amazing, do you know Swiftys number and fancy setting us up?

About Ross Pollard

Since starting writing on my 31st birthday in 2011 I have held a number of positions at magazines and websites as well as regularly producing articles for numerous publications alongside contributing to TV & radio shows as a freelance fashion journalist including Hoxton Radio & Fashion One TV. Alongside writing, I have worked in other industries helping to design & grow digital platforms, develop businesses and support operations practices. This experience has proved invaluable in building an understanding of how businesses work, and the landscape in which retail, B2B commerce and other commercial operations develop. Knowledge of commercial interests has helped shape my fashion industry insights beyond critiquing of garments

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